Jump to content


Photo

Armenian Miniature


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 MJ

MJ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,343 posts
  • Location:New York City
  • Interests:Theology, Tennis, Jazz, Modern Art, Red Wine

Posted 26 February 2001 - 06:28 AM

Grigor Tatevatsi

Grigor Tatevatsi was one of the greatest figures of medieval Armenia. He is known as a philosopher, a social-ecclesiastical figure, a teacher, scribe and miniaturist. He was born in 1346 in Vayots-Dzor where he spent his early years. He began to study under Hovhan Vorotnetsi in 1370. Together with the latter, Tatevatsi went to Jerusalem and it was Vorotnetsi who ordained him archimandrite in the district of Daranaghi in 1373. After his teacher's death, Tatevatsi headed the higher schools at Tatev and Aprakounis. He taught philosophy, theology and grammar at higher monasterial schools of Tatev, Aprakounis, Medsop and Yerevan. He died in 1409 and was buried near the St. Peter and Paul Church in Tatev.

The most significant of Grigor Tatevatsi's activities were those in Tatev, where the Syuniq prince Smbat Orbelian invited him in 1393. He worked there for fifteen years; those years being the most flourishing for the university. He conducted extensive pedagogical work and enjoyed great repute. He combined all-round knowledge in-born oratorical skills. Thovma Medsopetsi, Arakel Syunetsi, Mattheos Djughayetsi and other famous figures in XV century Armenian culture were pupils of Grigor Tatevatsi.

Great was Grigor Tatevatsi's role in the struggle led by the Armenian Church against tile Unitarians.

Grigor Tatevatsi's rich literary heritage covers almost all the fields of knowledge of that time. His more important works are: "Book of Questions", "Book of Sermons" (Summer and Winter volumes), ''Miscellany", "Concise Analysis on Porphyry's Work" and a number of others. His works, encyclopedic in nature, also contain valuable thoughts on aesthetics, which help in understanding certain aspects of his art and that of medieval art generally.


The nativity
Artist - Grigor Tatevatsi, 1378
Gospel, 1297


Grigor Tatevatsi's aesthetic views do not, of course, give a complete doctrine. It refers to separate thoughts and remarks scattered in different works in which he tried to explain his concepts of beauty, reveal the meaning of art and the role of art in society as well as problems on Christian symbolism of iconography and questions directly concerning to the practical work of the artist.


Art, for Grigor Tatevatsi, was a form of "rational" knowledge, the fruit of thought and work. "Each work of art is at first thought about, then seen through the eyes, and only after that, is it created by hand.


The crucifixion
Artist - A pupil of Grigor Tatevatsi, 1378
Gospel, 1297


Grigor Tatevatsi began his work as a scribe. Numerous manuscripts have survived will colophons written by him. However, his name as an illuminator is mentioned only once, in the Gospel illustrated at the Tatev Monastery in the year 1378. The Gospel was copied in 1297 in Eghegis, the "glorified capital" of Syuniq. In the same year the scribe of the Gospel, Hovhan, executed khorans (canon tables) and marginal illustrations. Simple plant and geometric designs prevail in the canon tables. In 1378, some one hundred years after its creation, the priest Sargis, sent the manuscript to the Tatev Monastery to be restored and illuminated by illuminator Grigor.

Title page of gospel according to John
Artist - Grigor Tatevatsi, 1378
Gospel, 1297


The following miniatures were painted at that same time: portraits of the four evangelists, title pages and five thematic miniatures: the "Annunciation", "Nativity", "Entry into Jerusalem", "Crucifixion" and "Virgin and Child". The identity of the painter of these miniatures becomes clear from the colophon around the bay in the "Annunciation". The colophon clearly states that the painter is Grigor, a pupil of Hovhan Vorotnetsi. The colophons surviving, as well as general features of the miniatures created in 1379 served as the basis for art historians to make the statement that all the miniatures made that year had been done by one and the same master, Grigor Tatevatsi. There are, however, certain stylistic differences, which suggest that yet another master, probably a pupil of Grigor Tatevatsi, also took part in the illumination of the manuscripts. In those miniatures Grigor Tatevatsi's influence is so strong that at first glance, all Christological miniature paintings are taken as the work of one artist.


Entry into Jerusalem
Artist - A pupil of Grigor Tatevatsi, 1378
Gospel, 1297

Taking the miniature the "Annunciation" created by Grigor Tatevatsi as a basis, we come to the conclusion that the portraits of the evangelists, the title pages and the miniatures the "Annunciation", "Nativity" (plate 14, plate 15) have been created by Grigor Tatevatsi; the other three miniatures "Entry into Jerusalem", "Crucifixion" and the "Virgin and Child" (plate 16, plate 17, plate 18) by the pupil.

Essential differences which permit speaking of two painters and dividing the miniatures of the manuscript into two groups are expressed, by differences in ways of thinking, concepts and interpretation of form. In Grigor Tatevatsi's works, the figures, especially those of the "Annunciation", are monumental and to a certain extent, dimensional. The folds of the garments are treated by means of color, emphasizing the harmony and proportions of the body. The faces are drawn with a sure, precise hand. As for the second painter, his drawings are somewhat weaker and that is especially seen in tile figure of the Virgin (in the "Virgin and Child" and "Crucifixion"). The execution of the other figures is also not successful; they are rather stocky and not so proportional. Flatness is stressed and is especially expressed in the folds of the garments; they are stiff and not at all flexible.


Canon table
Artist - Hovhannes
Gospel, 1297


The compositional structure of the page itself is also expressed by the differences in these two groups of miniatures. In the first group (the portraits of the evangelists, the "Annunciation" and "Nativity") the composition is encircled by homogeneous ornamental frames. In the second group ("Entry into Jerusalem", "Crucifixion", "Virgin and Child"), there is no frame. One or two sides of the composition have no ornamental frame decorations. It seems as if the painter, by means of this device, wants to free the picture of limiting borders, thus increasing the dimensional possibilities of the miniature.

The miniatures also differ in their color-range. Grigor Tatevatsi preferred dark shades of blue, brown, red and ochre; while the second painter preferred lighter shades. It must be said that the latter is professionally inferior to Grigor Tatevatsi.

The above-stated differences do not refute the presence of features common to both groups of miniatures, which were apparently conditioned by the common aim placed before the painters. They tried to give the manuscript a complete effect, and so the pupil, in fulfilling this task, endeavored to imitate his talented master arid sometimes even meticulously copied his interpretation of images, harmony of color and ornaments. The more beautiful miniature of the manuscript is the "Annunciation", where Grigor Tatevatsi's talent, his great imaginative powers and originality are brilliantly expressed. (It is not at all incidental that he placed his signature on this miniature).

The "Annunciation" is depicted within a closed ornamental frame, the composition is well-balanced. Its focal point is the small bay in which there is a jug of water. There are decorative arches to the left and the right of the bays. The figures are placed against an ornamental background, which gives the composition balance. The background, entirely covered with geometric and plant designs, deprives the miniature of depth. This lack is the reason why it seems as though the figures do not have sufficient space. This device stresses the monumentalism of the figures.

The image of Mary is quite expressive. Her features, face, eyes and especially thick eyebrows uniting over her nose, form an unusual arch, emphasizing the Armenian woman's ethnic type.


Virgin and child
Artist - A pupil of Grigor Tatevatsi, 1378
Gospel, 1297


The angel and Mary are bound by the same action but they represent different emotional states, revealed also by means of the coloring of the miniature. Warm red and yellow prevail in the clothing of the angel bearing happy tidings; while in Mary's garment, the combination of cold blue and deep violet shows her contradictory feelings, that of joy and deep concern. Great skill is displayed in depicting the figures, their gestures, and their movements. Somewhat elongated figures are remarkable for their shapeliness and proportions. Both the Virgin and the Archangel are distinguished by their grandeur and beauty. It is appropriate here to recall the definition of beauty given by Grigor Tatevatsi, which is in consonance with the images created by him. "One should know that the beauty of the image becomes similar to that of the prototype revealed in three-fold manner: first in the proportionality of form, second in the balance of the parts, and third in proper radiance".
]http://www.armsite.com/miniatures/index2.html[/url]

#2 MJ

MJ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,343 posts
  • Location:New York City
  • Interests:Theology, Tennis, Jazz, Modern Art, Red Wine

Posted 26 February 2001 - 06:37 AM

No-Go Perspective of Roslin

Unlike frescos that are intended for public observation, manuscript paintings are hidden between the parchment pages and destined for a personal, more intimate contemplation. When we open a manuscript, the sense of possession in a way reduces the distance inherent to visual perception. This subjective factor along with generally small format of picture makes up the conditionality of the miniature image and its specific means of expression.


Thoros Roslin was one of the best Cilician painters. He lived in Romklay in the thirteenth century. Working within the framework of the scholastic tradition, he, however, was always in a willful aesthetic and philosophical quest. His indomitable imagination has organically melted bizarre Persian, Byzantine, even Chinese elements in the strong streams of the canonical, almost ritualized, traditional marginal ornaments. He came to realize the power of the three-dimensional technique of painting half a century before Giotto di Bondone and Paolo Uccello.


The Birth


Generally, Cilician miniatures are remarkable for their vivid colors and profound theatricality. Indeed, each school of manuscript painting during its development has precisely declared its chromatic predilection. That is not a mere aesthetic or idiosyncratic matter, for colors are the fruits of technology. Be that as it may, at times a tint can be one of the main signifiers of Roslin’s images. Thus, the mysterious depth of the sky blue background of the Ascension (The Zeitoun Four Gospels, 1268), as a unique, ‘pure’ color of the spring dawn, autonomously from the text, refers to the ascent of Christianity. His succession of the blue shades in tonal perspective of the firmament has become a symbol for the spiritual passageway. This motif has been taken up and handed down by the descendants of the school.


Moger


Roslin uses the elements of linear and tonal perspective representation not so often and only for inanimate objects, interior, landscape, etc. Crowd and apostles are depicted in correspondingly different sizes, despite their location on the plain of picture. Formally, in this genre, the structuring by size is one of the important means that reflects and carries out the quintessence of social hierarchy in the medieval Kingdom of Cilicia. However, prudently refusing to implement the method on figures of people and saints, Roslin justifies the abstraction by the concept of selectivity of vision. Here we can see another essence: the master has his own stance towards the ideology. He is inside, developing the canon.


Malatia: For Gospels
In a typically Armenian way he distorts the space of his pictures, he turns it out, accordingly to the “inverted” perspective of the evangelical narration. Thereby allusion to the extrinsic clarity leads us deeper through the visual counterpoint. And before closing the manuscript, we are given the insight into the realm of faith and responsibility, love and eschatological dread of the thirteenth-century men. We see the sacred mise-en-scènes at a standstill of non finito which cannot cease the whirlwind of dramatic action.


http://www.geocities...069/roslin.html

[ February 27, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]

#3 dragon

dragon

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 622 posts
  • Location:Auckland New Zealand

Posted 27 February 2001 - 12:23 PM

Dear MJ,
Many thanks for your postings. They were great!

For a moment I felt myself visiting MADENATARAN of Yerevan...

ROSLIN is my favourite.

#4 MJ

MJ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,343 posts
  • Location:New York City
  • Interests:Theology, Tennis, Jazz, Modern Art, Red Wine

Posted 27 February 2001 - 06:44 AM

quote:
Originally posted by dragon:
Dear MJ,
Many thanks for your postings. They were great!

For a moment I felt myself visiting MADENATARAN of Yerevan...

ROSLIN is my favourite.


I am glad you liked it. I am sure you would not spare any efforts to make your visit enjoyable on a reciprocal basis.

#5 Azat

Azat

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,969 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests:wine, beer, food, art, jokes

Posted 23 April 2001 - 04:00 PM

Here is a site that is somewhat related. It has a listing of Armenian Artists and many small things for purchase. Some are very nice. Also a good selection of Armenian Art books.

And it looks like they are in Glendale. I drive by that address almost daily, but I have not seen any sign or anything about them.
http://www.roslin.com/

#6 aurguplu

aurguplu

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 623 posts
  • Location:istanbul, turkey
  • Interests:languages, history, archaeology, art, art history , natural history 6 nature

Posted 05 September 2001 - 10:04 AM

superb

i especially liked the birth. couldn't it be a bit larger?

they remind me a bit of the greek frescoes in my hometown ürgüp (cappadocia, of fairy chimney fame).

regards,

ali suat

#7 MJ

MJ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,343 posts
  • Location:New York City
  • Interests:Theology, Tennis, Jazz, Modern Art, Red Wine

Posted 20 June 2004 - 05:47 PM

The Metropolitan Art Museum (NY) has two weeks left for its Byzantium exhibition to close.

There are four Armenian illustrated Gospels exhibited here. Two are by T’oros Roslin, one by the Priest Yohannes and one by an unknown miniaturist of 14th century. A number of Armenian coins (King Hetum’s) of the Cilician Kingdom period are also exhibited. There were also some prints depicting Armenian miniaturist’ work for sale.

Overall, I found the exhibition to be overwhelming. Especially, the collection of Russian icons and gospels was very impressive.

I think it closes on July 4th.

#8 THOTH

THOTH

    Veteran

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,610 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:many

Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:13 PM

I'll bet its quite impressive...This one is on permenent display at the Walters in Baltimore.

http://www.thewalter...?ID=41&offset=2

Several years ago they had an exhibit featuring a great number of Armenian illustrated Bibles (some in minature as I recall), icons and related (incl Bible covers in silver and such) that was pretty awesome. I still have the program...would love to see more of these...(but won't be able to make it to New York before the 4th...shame...). Glad that you managed it however.

Not Armenian but similar (Greek) and very nice

http://www.asia.si.e...iblicalHome.htm

and these are (mostly) Islamic - but quite nice as well

http://www.asia.si.e...islamicHome.htm



And different entirely but perhaps worth a look:

http://www.textilemu...tm/augindex.htm

In the past this excellent little museum has had exhibits of Anatolian textiles (carpets) and Caucasian textiles - the latter in particualr featuring many from Armenia.

#9 MJ

MJ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,343 posts
  • Location:New York City
  • Interests:Theology, Tennis, Jazz, Modern Art, Red Wine

Posted 21 June 2004 - 05:11 AM

Actually, one of the Roslin Gospels was from the Walters Museum. The other one* was from Hermitage (St. Petersburg).

There were a number of Serbian, Greek, Georgian, Islamic and other manuscripts here as well. Overall, it was very diverse and one could not get a sufficient look at them within an hour or two.

* See http://www.metmuseum...m/gallery_3.asp.

Edited by MJ, 21 June 2004 - 09:13 AM.


#10 gamavor

gamavor

    -= Nobility =-

  • Nobility
  • 4,862 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 12 November 2004 - 10:29 AM



Where is this painting or fresco from? Is it a manuscript painting or wall painting?

Haven’t seen it before.

#11 Guest_abcdefghijkl_*

Guest_abcdefghijkl_*
  • Guests

Posted 12 November 2004 - 10:37 AM

It's not a painting - it's a tile. Probably made in Kutahya.

#12 Yervant1

Yervant1

    The True North!

  • Super Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,092 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:24 AM

South China Morning Post
April 9 2017
 
 
Prayer scrolls and illuminated leaves that illustrate the Christian Gospel on show in Hong Kong

Holy Armenian and Georgian scrolls and manuscripts from 11th-18th centuries go on display in Hong Kong

BY KYLIE KNOTT

9 APR 2017
 
0e00152c-19db-11e7-b4ed-ac719e54b474_128Bust Portraits of Eusebius and Carpianus, Western Armenia, Khndrakatar Monastery, circa 1584.

15e44e0c-19db-11e7-b4ed-ac719e54b474_600Gospel with Two Eusebian Canon Tables, from Armenia, circa 1300.

The Word of God has been painstakingly recorded, illustrated and passed down through the ages by monks and scribes who dedicated their lives to the undertaking.

Now, for the first time in Hong Kong, an exhibition showcases a selection of bound volumes, prayer scrolls and illuminated leaves from the eastern Mediterranean that meticulously illustrate the Christian Gospel.

“Illustrious Illuminations II: Armenian and Georgian Manuscripts from the Eleventh to the Eighteenth Century”, on show at the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, in Pok Fu Lam, features illustrated Armenian manuscripts complemented by a set of Georgian Gospel leaves depicting evangelists.

1a3248e2-19db-11e7-b4ed-ac719e54b474_980Prophet Isaiah Holding an Open Scroll, Turkey, Istanbul, 1635.

“Armenian illustrated manuscripts are some of the most lavishly decorated codices of the Christian churches from the Middle East,” says Dr Florian Knothe, director of the University Museum and Art Gallery. “The Gospels are paramount among these, primarily because of the Armenian community’s respect for the sacred texts, revering them in the same way that Greek and Russian Christians regard holy icons.”

The manuscripts have interesting stories in their own right. Such texts were carried into war by Armenian rulers and copies of the Gospels were often given sacred names. It was even believed that they held miraculous powers. The exhibition runs until June 11.

 

http://www.scmp.com/...aves-illustrate






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users